Wednesday, January 21, 2009


WoYoPracMo, Day 21.

Last night, I dug out all of my old Iyengar VHS videos from storage. After a year and a half of doing Astanga, Astanga and nothing-but-Astanga, I was really eager for a change. I bought these videos years ago, when I first started yoga practice in the early 90s. After doing Iyengar teacher Patricia Walden's 'Yoga for Beginners' for a few months, I thought I might be ready to graduate to 'Yoga for Strength' or 'Yoga for Flexibility'. I was wrong. The poses were far too difficult for me. I remember sitting on my mat, watching the backbends sequence and just shaking my head.

I'm still shaking my head a bit, but I was able to do the backbending video with no trouble. Those long holds caused some eye-rolling though. These Iyengar people and their infinite holds! (with all due respect to Patricia, but GEEZ!) I don't mind holding Downward Facing Dog for a few centuries, or even a standing pose likeTriangle, but I draw the line with Urdhva Dhanurasana - five breaths in that one and I'm through!

The video (the first part of 'Yoga for Flexibility' was amusing. The opening advert was for Yoga Journal, back in the good old days before it turned into a fluff magazine. Back then, it was a serious 'journal' and featured Gurus on the front cover. Patricia Walden, a noted Iyengar instructor, led the practice. The whole atmosphere of the tape - set, music, even the unitard Patricia Walden was wearing - screamed 90s! 90s! 90s! Big nostalgia trip!

But it was an enjoyable practice all the same. The backbends went on for about 40 minutes. I was feeling a bit stiff, so I did some sun salutations before I started and peppered a few Surya Namaskara A's throughout the practice. This was easy because there was so much *space* between poses. The standing poses felt good and though the Urdhva Dhanurasanas were plentiful and loooooonnnnnnng, it's really good to focus on backbends.

And change? Change is fun!

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